Compliance with Home-based Fortification Strategies for Delivery of Iron and Zinc: Its Effect on Haematological and Growth Markers among 6-24 months Old Children in North India

Sunil Sazawal, Pratibha Dhingra, Usha Dhingra, Shilpi Gupta, Venkatesh Iyengar, Venugopal P. Menon, Archana Sarkar, Robert E. Black


Compliance is a key component in successful implementation of the delivery of micronutrients among children. The present study evaluates the compliance with two home-based food fortification strategies (fortified complementary food or sprinkle) for providing iron and zinc among children aged 6-24 months. A total of 292 children were randomly allocated to receive either rice-based fortified complementary food and nutrition education (Cf=101), sprinkle and nutrition education (Mp=97), or nutrition education alone as control (Ed=94). All the enrolled children were breastfed at the beginning of the study and were advised to continue breastfeeding. Biweekly information on compliance and anthropometry was collected. Complete haemogram estimation was conducted at baseline and end of the study. Compliance with the fortified complementary food was higher compared to sprinkle (Cf=81%, Mp=64% child-days). Consumption of the fortified complementary food for 6 months resulted in a significant increase in mean haemoglobin in the intervention group compared to control group (Cf 1.29±1.6 g/dL; Ed 0.23±1.3 g/dL; p<0.001). Our results showed that fortified complementary food had higher compliance than sprinkle and is a suitable delivery mechanism for iron and zinc in preschool children.

Key words: Compliance; Fortified complementary food; Growth; Iron status; Sprinkle; Zinc

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